As pet parents, we want to ensure that our pets are healthy and happy. Therefore, you should never ignore symptoms in your pet, there could be underlying illnesses that need to be addressed immediately.
Watch Out For These Symptoms In Pets
1. Lethargy or Extreme Fatigue
Lethargy is a state of drowsiness, inactivity and indifference to their environment. They may have a delayed or slower response to auditory, visual and tactile stimuli than usual. They seem to be disinterested in exercising or playing. This may not be a specific indication of life-threatening illness, but if it lasts for more than 24 hours, it’s best to speak with your vet.
2. Loss of Appetite
Loss of appetite is one of the first signs of illness. It can have a serious impact on your pet’s health as they use or eliminate essential dietary nutrients faster than they are replenished. Watch out for puppies less than six months old as they are particularly prone to health issues brought about by a loss of appetite. If your pet is still not eating for more than 24 hours, you should consult your vet.
3. Difficulty Breathing
Dyspnea is respiratory distress, laboured breathing or shortness of breath. It is associated with accumulation of fluid (oedema) in the lungs or the chest cavity (pleural effusion). It becomes more alarming for animals with a heart condition as they may not be able to get enough oxygen to the muscles and tissues.
4. Fainting or Collapsing
Fainting or collapsing is definitely a red flag. Even if they get up and seem normal after a few minutes, it’s best to let your vet know about the incident. Fainting or collapsing may indicate a problem in the nervous system (brain, spinal cord or nerves), the circulatory system (heart, blood, blood vessels), the respiratory system (nose, mouth, throat, lungs) or musculoskeletal system (bones, joints, muscles).
5. Red Eyes
Certain parts of your pet’s eyes may be inflamed or infected if their sclera or the white part of the eye turns red. To get the correct diagnosis and medication, bring your pet to the vet right away. Failing to do so may compromise your pet’s vision.
6. Distended Abdomen
Abdominal distension is an abnormal enlargement of the abdominal cavity due to reasons other than simple obesity. There are several reasons for abdominal distension, such as abnormal fluid accumulation and enlargement of any abdominal organ, including the liver, kidneys, or spleen. The pressure from the abdomen pushing up into the chest may make breathing difficult. It can also decrease appetite.
7. Pacing, Restlessness, Unproductive retching
A sign of pain or distress in your pet is when they are irritable, panting, shy or even aggressive. These symptoms are common in a serious condition called gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) or bloat. A sign of GDV is when they try to vomit but brings nothing up. This is a life-threatening condition that most often occurs in large breed dogs and those with deep chests.
Abnormally high body temperature is a sign of fever. It means that the body is fighting off an infection and it’s responding to the invasion of foreign matter such as bacteria or viruses. The normal temperature in dogs is 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
9. Continuous Coughing
Non-stop coughing generally indicates an underlying problem. It may be because the airway is irritated by inflammation, fluid formation or infection. It can also be due to more severe conditions such as heartworm disease, bronchitis, pneumonia, and tumours of the lung.
10. Bloody Diarrhoea, Urine and Vomit
Fresh blood in the faeces indicates bleeding in the colon or rectum. The stools are black tarry because of the acidity. Blockage in the urinary tract or bacterial infection can cause ‘hematuria’ or blood in the urine. Vomiting blood can include fresh blood (which is bright red) or partially digested blood (which has the appearance of brown coffee grounds). These may be indications of minor ailments, while others are severe or life-threatening.
Immediately seek the advice of your veterinarian if any of these symptoms in pets.
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